By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives has given Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), Lagos, 30 day ultimatum within which to prepare it accounts and remit same to the Auditor General of the Federation, with proof of full compliance to be laid before House Committee.
The green chamber equally queried the failure of the Management of the Institution to submit its audited reports to the Auditor General of the Federation since 2014 till date as required by law, threatening to block the 2020 budgetary allocation of the college.
The House of Committee on Public Accounts took the decisions when the management of the Institution led by its Rector, Engr. Obafemi Owoseni Omokungbe, appeared in Abuja at the resumed Public hearing on refusal of Non-Treasury Funded and Partially Funded Agencies to Render their Audited Accounts, covering the period 2014-2018 to the Auditor-General of the Federation.
The Rector had told the Committee that he assumed office in 2018 and that the Accounts were not ready, as the external Auditor would complete the work after which it would be transmitted to the Auditor General of the Federation.
Worried by this submission, the Committee resolved to place the Institution on status enquiry for the period under review to probe into its financial records, describing the submission as unacceptable and against financial regulations guiding civil service.
The Chairman of the Committee, Hon Oluwole Oke
further ruled that failure to comply with the directive, the National Assembly would have no option than to withhold the 2020 budgetary allocation to the Institution to serve as a deterrent to other defaulting Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government.
According to him, “YABATECH is the nation’s Premier College of Technology, which is supposed to be a shining example to others but what we have now? Mr Rector and the Bursar who is an Accountant, we are not impressed by your submission.
“How do you want the Auditor General of the Federation to balance the nation’s financial year record when you have backlogs of unaudited accounts or they will have to wait for you.
“Come to think of this, can you as an individual afford to leave the accounts of your private business outfit unaudited for years like we are witnessing in this case? There must be accountability, it is tax payers’ money, you must account for it, henceforth, it is not going to be business as usual.
“Let me sound a note of warning to those heads of MDAs, hiding under the pretext of being new in office or absence of governing boards to approve their audited accounts as cover up for not remitting their audited accounts to the Auditor General of the Federation as at when due.
“We as a Committee will fish out those involved and publish their names and MDAs in the national dailies, we are compiling their names, there will be no hiding place for them, this is not a threat, we are going to carry it out to the letter”, he said.
The matter was later stepped down to allow for the status enquiry as ordered.